Monday, 4 May 2009

privatisation in the health sector

i've got a post up at the hand mirror about the newly appointed chair of the waikato district health board. there are some other disturbing developments in health, with the sacking of the board of the waikato primary health organisation:

This effectively moves a large health budget from the not-for-profit PHO to private control....

[Former Waikato Primary Health Board deputy chairperson Tania] Hodges
says the big issue is, if the DHB or Minister don’t act and if Pinnacle is allowed to take control of primary care within the region without any questions being asked then that essentially gives the green light for IPAs or doctors’ groups to control primary care throughout the whole country.

“Primary care in this country will then be run by private businesses for private profit...."

Waikato Primary Health is one of the most efficient PHOs in the country with an enrolled population of 310,000 people in the Waikato, King Country and Coromandel.

this is pretty shocking news. it has taken years to put the primary health system in place, and many medical professionals have fought very hard against it. one of the main advantages of the PHO structure was that it meant the doctors were accountable to the community. that level of accountability has now been removed, and this is of major concern.

another item of interest is this open letter from the united nations association of nz to hon murray mccully:

We are concerned that the failure of New Zealand to attend the recent United Nations Durban II review conference on racism is undermining the nation’s interests.

Our security and prosperity depend crucially on our ability to work with other nations on bilateral, regional and global levels....

The Durban II conference was clearly going to be a difficult and contentious one, and proved to be so. However, it was a conference that dealt with issues of significance for New Zealand, with critical sub-issues which bear on global security and stability....

Our withdrawal speaks of timidity and lack of confidence in our ability to face the realities of the world of international affairs. We have also failed to do justice to the capability and determination of our diplomatic staff to make a positive contribution to this very challenging situation.

More critically, we have contributed to the threat of a world which is incapable of coming together to address sensitive issues.

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